Please find here the member survey results, which will be used to inform decision making at both national and local level, and the associated press release.
Whilst it is clear that members wish to see schools remain open where possible, the heightened anxieties around safety are evident, also, particularly in Level 4 areas where community infection levels are high; so much so that a clear majority exists for industrial action if necessary, to protest at any failure of Council or Government to address safety concerns.
EIS Council considered an interim survey response, on Friday, and agreed a number of actions to intensify campaigning on a range of Covid related issues including paused shielding teachers, pregnant staff, supply staff seeking work, and specifically the heightened threat associated with Level 4.
Whilst we will continue to engage with both the Scottish Government and Local Authorities, Council also agreed to respond positively to any requests from school branches or local associations for consultative ballot requests for industrial action in those Council areas which have moved to Level 4 and which have not moved to remote/blended learning.
As ever, we are seeking constructive dialogue on the issues raised by members in this survey, but a blanket refusal to even consider contingencies of blended learning or remote learning is not acceptable, especially when these may contribute significantly to driving down the R figure in communities at risk at Level 4, as well as making schools safer for all.
The Scottish Government has been on the front foot this week to persuade everyone that schools are safe spaces, but what is the truth of the matter? In this article for the Herald, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan shares his views on the COVID situation in Scotland's schools and what needs to happen next.
The EIS has published an FAQ for vulnerable members working in level 4 Local Authority Areas. It can be found on our website.